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 Post subject: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:29 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/Journey_t ... oATX_Gamer

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:18 pm 
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Great article! I really like seeing the process of how you arrived at the optimal build.

Have you ever looked at Demciflex filters? I'm considering them for my mATX build since they're supposed to be fairly low impedance.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:06 am 
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How come the TJ08-E was not among the case alternatives? Is the Sugo 10 a better micro-atx case overall?


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:35 am 
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Epic article! Many thanks.

I wonder what would happen if you had all fans as intake (with the Noctuas blowing to the rear).


Last edited by Joxx on Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:01 am 
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Very hinteresting.

Also nice to see you on the Linus Tech Tips video. Poor Linus, only quiet not silent :(


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:00 am 
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There's a typo in page 5.
The legend of the first photo says the fans are of 92mm (they are 120s).


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:52 am 
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AckeDman wrote:
How come the TJ08-E was not among the case alternatives? Is the Sugo 10 a better micro-atx case overall?

Maybe it should be. My main concern about that case is that airflow for a hot VGA card might not be enough to keep fans running near silent. There are no vents real close to the VGA... except the PCI slot openings.
Joxx wrote:
There's a typo in page 5. The legend of the first photo says the fans are of 92mm (they are 120s).

Thanks for catching it; corrected.
Joxx wrote:
Epic article! Many thanks. I wonder what would happen if you had all fans as intake (with the Noctuas blowing to the rear).

I tried it in a couple of earlier configs & it wasn't particularly good, the front fans blowing out generally was better, so I stayed with that through much of the tests after. One config that might work well is front fans blowing in, front part of top vent blocked off, top fan in the middle blowing in, and back portion of top vent left open -- for convection & natural exit of heat in the back. If I decide to play with this, I'll report back in a PS or a post here. TBH, I'm not sure I want to touch this build again. Worked on it too long. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:46 am 
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That was interesting to read, as I strive for similar attributes in my systems (but with a bias to low profile cases and the resulting GPU limitations).

Were any of the following out of scope to help reduce temperatures and/or the noise floor?

1) Undervolting the CPU, which has made a material difference for me, at least with sockets 775 and 1155 (don't have any 1150 systems)

2) Switching out the case fans (I'm a big Noctua fan, with NF-R8s, A9s, and S12s deployed)

3) Trying out positive pressure with two intakes and one exhaust with the CPU fans facing up to the exhaust or towards the back in the same direction as the intake. If the rising air is already quite hot because of the GPU this may not work very well but if there's sufficient fresh air coming from the intakes maybe it will work?

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:00 am 
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fuzzymath10 wrote:
That was interesting to read, as I strive for similar attributes in my systems (but with a bias to low profile cases and the resulting GPU limitations).

Were any of the following out of scope to help reduce temperatures and/or the noise floor?

1) Undervolting the CPU, which has made a material difference for me, at least with sockets 775 and 1155 (don't have any 1150 systems)

2) Switching out the case fans (I'm a big Noctua fan, with NF-R8s, A9s, and S12s deployed)

3) Trying out positive pressure with two intakes and one exhaust with the CPU fans facing up to the exhaust or towards the back in the same direction as the intake. If the rising air is already quite hot because of the GPU this may not work very well but if there's sufficient fresh air coming from the intakes maybe it will work?

1) We consider this something users might try but since it varies from chip to chip, we generally leave CPUs stock -- no OC nor undervolting. Internal CPU power management has really reached a point where gains from such tweaks are quite marginal.
2) This might buy a dB in some of the other configs, but in the final one, the fans on the Arctic became the noise floor, so no point.
3) This was the worst of all the various fan arrangement tried. Exhaust upwards pulls the heat from the VGA card through the CPU cooler & really heats it up good, along with other mobo components. +15C was not unusual.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:23 pm 
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Wow nice article! Although the breadbox style case aren't my bread and butter (lol, sorry for that :D ), I understand it's appealing for many people.
What about the Bitfenix Prodigy/Phenom mATX versions? Would those be too restrictive because of low volume?

Merry Christmas to you too!


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:47 pm 
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Xyvotha wrote:
Wow nice article! Although the breadbox style case aren't my bread and butter (lol, sorry for that :D ), I understand it's appealing for many people.
What about the Bitfenix Prodigy/Phenom mATX versions? Would those be too restrictive because of low volume?

Merry Christmas to you too!

Bitfenix Prodigy/Phenom mATX versions would work, but they're pretty darn big. We have a mITX Biftfenix build on the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:24 pm 
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@MikeC
Would you consider a build with the Fractal Node 804? I find it the best cube case at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:47 pm 
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I do like the iterative process required. It very much reminds me of how silencing computers had to be done in the good old days: build a computer, find out it's loud, search the Internet for hours on a 56k modem looking for a solution, order some parts, make it a bit quieter, do a few DIY mods, make it a bit quieter, repeat ad infinitum or 2004, whichever comes first.

The Corsair really doesn't seem like such a good case then for our purposes. Unless I've read everything massively wrong it's actually come out a lot worse than the MiniITX build done previously.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Joxx wrote:
@MikeC
Would you consider a build with the Fractal Node 804? I find it the best cube case at the moment.

I'm sure it'd be easier to quiet hot gear in that case but.... 41 liters and its footprint is something like 14"W x 16"L. I don't know about your desk, but that would look like a trunk on mine.
edh wrote:
I do like the iterative process required...
The Corsair really doesn't seem like such a good case then for our purposes. Unless I've read everything massively wrong it's actually come out a lot worse than the MiniITX build done previously.

iterative -- it's always been this way if you want to get to cutting edge quiet.
The Air 240's main handicaps vs the mITX cases we've used are...
1) not enough room for bigger VGA card
2) no big back panel fan(s) for exhaust
3) vertical mobo position + 2) = CPU gets badly affected by GPU heat

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:53 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Journey_to_a_Silent_MicroATX_Gamer

I'm not glad to see that my feelings about the Carbide 240 were not that much groundless (maybe you did remember, Mike).
Perhaps the larger but maybe less pretty Fractal Design Node 804 or Rosewill Legacy W2 might be some viable alternatives, cooling wise.

Some short notes about PSU alternatives: mainly the Enermax 430 is actually EOL (it's the only Xt'R model EOL, due to low sales) and the Rosewill Fortress might be EOL as well, besides quality wise both those units aren't on par with the Seasonic PSU (or its close sibling XFX XTR).
In my very humble opinion something like the BeQuiet E10 400W (which probably you never see in North America), or the smaller Corsair RM-series should be much more versed, noise wise (even if quality wise even those are inferior to the excellent Seasonic platform).

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:23 pm 
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Quote:
Other than the nCase M2,

M1?


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:14 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Bitfenix Prodigy/Phenom mATX versions would work, but they're pretty darn big. We have a mITX Biftfenix build on the way.


*facepalm* always forget those cases' dimensions, they look much smaller in pics. Wasn't there a page that compared measurements? I remember they were simple rectangles, but very illustrative. I'd like to quickly compare say, the Phenom to my Solo II, without having to draw them myself from specs.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:30 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Bitfenix Prodigy/Phenom mATX versions would work, but they're pretty darn big. We have a mITX Biftfenix build on the way.
The microATX versions are exactly the same size as the mini-ITX versions, and about the size (give or take) of the Air 240.


Designing a PC for low noise can be quite challenge, and combining high-power components with compact size makes it hugely more so. I've been thinking a lot lately about how to design a compact mATX case optimized for high performance and low noise, so it was interesting to read your article. A lot of the difficulty comes from how poorly suited hardware standards are for the cooling needs of modern components; PCI cards, in particular, were never designed for the 200w+ heat dissipation we see with GPUs these days. Simply having the GPU intake facing away from the CPU cooler makes airflow design more challenging in a SFF system. It's a shame BTX never caught on - it went some ways to addressing these issues.

My list of design goals for a compact low-noise mATX case right now looks like this:

  • Front-to-back airflow, maybe including bottom intakes
  • Baffled intake (i.e., solid front panel w/side intakes)
  • No top or side vents
  • Tall CPU cooler(160mm)/GPU support
  • ATX PSU support

Fan size is something of a challenge, because a large rear fan, in particular, increases the required size significantly. The M1 is about the minimum width (160mm) to be able to comfortably fit reference-height GPUs, and that's only just enough for a 92mm rear fan. Extra width gets us a lot of mileage though, in terms of being able to fit lower-noise components (tall CPU coolers/GPUs), so a 120mm rear fan is pretty much the baseline. That pushes the minimum width to 190mm (with no behind-the-motherboard cable management), but the question is, is a single 120mm rear exhaust adequate? Is it worth it to push it to 210mm wide for 140mm support? This is an area where it would be useful to have a top exhaust, since fan size isn't limited there.

There's a bit more flexibility with front intake fans, and dual 140mm fans is easily possible. This does lead to a significant asymmetry in intake-exhaust balance, with only a 120mm rear fan, but does ensure positive pressure to help control dust. I know you came to the conclusion that filters negatively impact airflow and noise too much, but I think for the more typical (i.e., less noise sensitive) user it's pretty much a required feature. And you always have the option not to use them.

The power supply is another interesting area, and I know it's standard practice these days to have it set up to draw air from underneath the case, but I wonder if that's ideal for low-noise. With a passive PSU, the vents should be facing up, so my thought it to have a bottom mounted PSU with vents up, and a reversed ATX layout, so the PCI cards are at the top of the case. This does mean the PSU heat will impact the CPU area to some degree, but still significantly less so than the GPU does already. With front-to-back airflow and a sufficiently open rear vent design, warm air should move through easily without too much crossover with other components.

All this leads to a design for a case that isn't particularly compact, however. I wouldn't expect this to come in much under 30L, and that's without any 5.25" bays, and maybe room for two 3.5" HDDs. On paper it doesn't necessarily compare well with other 30L cases (e.g., the TJ-08E). Layout-wise it's also not very different from many other case on the market, and it would lack the impressive size/performance/flexibility of something like the M1. That, plus the fact that we don't have the resources/expertise/economies of scale to deliver something like this at <$200 (let alone <$100), would make it a real challenge to market. A larger case also means higher shipping costs, which are already prohibitive for us. Nevertheless, it's an interesting challenge, and something I'm personally interested in. Who knows, maybe it's something we'll tackle in the future.

Edit: here's some concept renders I did a while back of the layout I describe above:

Image

Note that a number of things would have to change for a production version, which would in all likelihood be aluminum like the M1.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:30 am 
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NCASEdesign wrote:
Note that a number of things would have to change for a production version, which would in all likelihood be aluminum like the M1.

Nice tower: it somehow reminds me (along with your design considerations) the larger (ATX) NZXT S340:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:11 am 
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Don't want to be overly cynical, but this whole article is set up by the choice of a bad case.

As has been true for the last 10 years, if you want silence, your case should accept 160mm tall CPU heatsinks. That would really be the conclusion of the article. Get a case that accepts an HR-02 and a Strix or MSI Gaming 4G and the silent computer almost builds itself.

The Carbide is gimmicky, not unlike the Yeong Yang cubes of forgotten days with the same asinine dual-chamber layout (I had one, I know). Unless you have very specific space realities around your desk, i.e. for some reason your case cannot be higher than 330mm, there is no good reason to choose it. Particularly ON the desk I generally find 6cm more height to be less of an issue than 6cm more width.

But even if you're restricted to 330mm height or less, there's a better alternative in the Bitfenix Phenom on the market.

And then there's the Node 304. It does limit your choice of PSU to 160mm length. That means either non-modular units, which nowadays is rare (if not even non-existant) in quality units, or a Silverstone PSU. Either their 550w and 650w Full ATX models or their SFX models, all of which or quiet but not silent.
Yet the built would still be about as quiet as your Micro-ATX gamer, at 1/3 of the physical volume.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:02 am 
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Mike,
Typo on page 2:
ASUS DirectCU GTX 680 on left, AMD Radeon R9 290X reference in center, ASUS Strix GTX 980 on left.

On page 8:
If I'm not mistaken, the AIO radiator is not allowed to be mounted with the hoses pointing upwards.

Do you plan to do a review of the Gigabyte Z97MX-Gaming 5?

Gigabyte's motherboard fan control has a somewhat stained reputation.
It would be great if you could either put this to bed or pinpoint the limitations.

Thank you and happy holidays.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:00 am 
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sn1009 wrote:
Gigabyte's motherboard fan control has a somewhat stained reputation.
It would be great if you could either put this to bed or pinpoint the limitations.

+1

The same it would be for the Seasonic G-550 (which suffers of similar stains from users' feedback, often in hotbox scenarios).

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:03 am 
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tim851 wrote:
Don't want to be overly cynical, but this whole article is set up by the choice of a bad case.

As has been true for the last 10 years, if you want silence, your case should accept 160mm tall CPU heatsinks. That would really be the conclusion of the article. Get a case that accepts an HR-02 and a Strix or MSI Gaming 4G and the silent computer almost builds itself.

You're technically correct, but overly cynical. :lol: I took on the project in good faith & when the case limitations became clear, I took them on as challenges. Makes for somewhat more interesting reading than -- A, B, C and voila, there's your silent system! :wink: (Though most of the build guides will fall in this category.)
Quote:
But even if you're restricted to 330mm height or less, there's a better alternative in the Bitfenix Phenom on the market.

We don't know that yet. We do have a mitx Prodigy build coming (I mentioned this already, I think?) and that is far from a perfect case, though there's no question that a side vent for the VGA card + upright board position & enough height for a tower heatsink (and a tall VGA card as well) have major advantages. I already mentioned that before.
Quote:
And then there's the Node 304... Yet the built would still be about as quiet as your Micro-ATX gamer, at 1/3 of the physical volume.

It's a mITX case -- we were looking specifically to do a MicroATX gamer.
NCASEdesign wrote:
Designing a PC for low noise can be quite challenge, and combining high-power components with compact size makes it hugely more so. I've been thinking a lot lately about how to design a compact mATX case optimized for high performance and low noise, so it was interesting to read your article. A lot of the difficulty comes from how poorly suited hardware standards are for the cooling needs of modern components; PCI cards, in particular, were never designed for the 200w+ heat dissipation we see with GPUs these days. Simply having the GPU intake facing away from the CPU cooler makes airflow design more challenging in a SFF system. It's a shame BTX never caught on - it went some ways to addressing these issues.

Good to see you here... Dan? 8) Agreed -- re: poorly suited hardware standards, esp for VGA card.

Don't know how many BTX systems and cases you examined; I was around for all of BTX, examined a handful of mid-tower designs (no reviews) and reviewed a couple of BTX Shuttles. (Search for BTX on the main site and you'll get these walks down memory lane: Shuttle XPC SB81P: Loaded 775 BTX & Shuttle SB86i BTX SFF system) BTX was a debacle in execution, with heat from CPU being distributed all over other components & the base noise levels were up 5-10 dB over more mature ATX designs. I suppose if it had stuck around long enough, better implementations might have evolved, but the starting point was very poor, imo. Of course, PSU efficiency was <80%, heatpipes were only just starting to show up in advanced aftermarket designs, noise levels of "standard" systems were amazingly high, and SPCR hadn't been around long enough to influence the industry much.

Your mATX drawings look sharp, but I'm doubtful of the VGA card position. No top vent and not much airflow will get to the VGA cooler fans from the front. We saw this problem with Silverstone's TJ-08E -- heat tends to get trapped between the top & the card. The idea of somehow separating the VGA card & CPU into separate thermal zones makes perfect sense and there must be ways to go farther than what your concept shows.

Finally, we do have an nCase build just about ready to go; you'll obviously be interested in that. Am about to do the final edit on Larry's writeup before it gets posted. EDIT: Done -- http://www.silentpcreview.com/Quiet_Min ... ld_Guide_2

PS -- Thanks for all who point out typos & other errors. They've been corrected.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:05 am 
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MikeC wrote:
but I'm doubtful of the VGA card position. No top vent and not much airflow will get to the VGA cooler fans from the front. We saw this problem with Silverstone's TJ-08E -- heat tends to get trapped between the top & the card.

More probably that not your doubt is well-grounded: probably you can have some confirmation even from users (there are a lots) of other inverted ATX enclosures, like the Lian Li A05 (much loved also on SPCR), which even with a 140mm top hole didn't worked optimally temp-wise.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:15 am 
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MikeC wrote:
Good to see you here... Dan? 8) Agreed -- re: poorly suited hardware standards, esp for VGA card.

Don't know how many BTX systems and cases you examined; I was around for all of BTX, examined a handful of mid-tower designs (no reviews) and reviewed a couple of BTX Shuttles. (Search for BTX on the main site and you'll get these walks down memory lane: Shuttle XPC SB81P: Loaded 775 BTX & Shuttle SB86i BTX SFF system) BTX was a debacle in execution, with heat from CPU being distributed all over other components & the base noise levels were up 5-10 dB over more mature ATX designs. I suppose if it had stuck around long enough, better implementations might have evolved, but the starting point was very poor, imo. Of course, PSU efficiency was <80%, heatpipes were only just starting to show up in advanced aftermarket designs, noise levels of "standard" systems were amazingly high, and SPCR hadn't been around long enough to influence the industry much.

Your mATX drawings look sharp, but I'm doubtful of the VGA card position. No top vent and not much airflow will get to the VGA cooler fans from the front. We saw this problem with Silverstone's TJ-08E -- heat tends to get trapped between the top & the card. The idea of somehow separating the VGA card & CPU into separate thermal zones makes perfect sense and there must be ways to go farther than what your concept shows.

Finally, we do have an nCase build just about ready to go; you'll obviously be interested in that. Am about to do the final edit on Larry's writeup before it gets posted. EDIT: Done -- http://www.silentpcreview.com/Quiet_Min ... ld_Guide_2
Dan's the other guy ;) He's wahaha360 on hardforum, and he's in charge of orders/shipping/logistics. I'm the design guy (Necere on [H]).

The primary advantage with BTX from my point of view is having the expansion slots on the opposite side, which allows for simplified system airflow (at least for SFF systems). Here's an illustration:

Image

(Click for bigger)

There's another possible layout, which I didn't show here, where the intake fans are to the left of the BTX board in the image, and exhaust fans on the right, behind the GPU. In an m-ITX/mATX system you can't have exhaust fans right next to the GPU because it will fight the card's fans, but with BTX you can. As the GPU is the hottest part of the system (for a gaming build), it makes sense to have exhaust fans right next to it to draw out that heat. Standard m-ITX/mATX just doesn't allow for it in an SFF-friendly way.

Regarding the GPU at the top in the concept I showed above, I wonder what you might consider the optimal arrangement to be then. It sounds like ventilating the panel adjacent to the GPU is preferable, but at the same time ventilating the top or sides are not something you want in a noise optimized case, right? So that leaves us with bottom vents (or front/back, if considering a Silverstone-style 90 degree layout). Or possibly a baffled top? GPU on the bottom implies the PSU is at the top, which is a very standard case layout indeed. Then we have the issue of where does the PSU intake from - inside the case, or through the top? The former isn't popular due to the PSU getting warm air (though does it matter as much as people think?), and won't work well with passive PSUs, but I'm not sure I like the idea of a top intake for the PSU. I'm ignoring layouts that position the PSU behind the motherboard - like the Air 240, mini-ITX Prodigy/Phenom, and many others - but it's something to consider. I personally dislike the large footprint of "cube" cases, though.

I didn't know you guys were doing a second build/review in the M1, very cool. Glad to see you were able to achieve a relatively quiet, high performance system with it. That was one of my goals in designing it, though it's not nearly so straightforward with so little volume to work with. The AIO + mini tower cooler isn't something I've seen before, so it's cool to see a novel approach that others can use as an example for their builds.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:21 am 
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OK, ncase design guy. ;)

I think we can safely say discussions of BTX are moot at this point. Long under the bridge.

Re - GPU at the top concept: Check out our comments in the TJ-08E review
Quote:
SilverStone essentially made a tradeoff, opting for a cooler CPU near the case floor and a warmer GPU in the upper section of the case. Gamers with high-end video cards would actually benefit if they turned it back the "right" way.

It got an Editor's Choice award, but not for its VGA cooling (overall design was too interesting not to award).

Ideally, no top opening is best for noise, but if picking between top opening for VGA vs CPU, I'd take the latter -- it can usually be cooled more quietly than the VGA.

Top back PSU location w/ top intake in a standard mATX mid-tower style would work with today's PSUs -- the noise that escapes even at 300W load is not much to worry about. Or the PSU could be positioned in front, intake on bottom, exhaust in front behind baffle. It would make a long case. If this config is used, then the back portion of the top panel could be open for more CPU cooling. The blocked lower front could be compensated by floor vents for VGA cooling. Presumably there'd be enough room on the top half of the front panel to allow at least one intake fan for the CPU.

Here's where a well sealed divider between VGA & CPU would work. At least one of the side panels would have to have some vents to allow the heat of the VGA to escape. Pick one side -- that side would face away from the user for low noise.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Would the Fractal Design Define Mini be a good case for a mATX system?

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:43 pm 
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Zenphic wrote:
Would the Fractal Design Define Mini be a good case for a mATX system?

yup pretty good.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:06 pm 
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Posts: 418
NCASEdesign wrote:
Simply having the GPU intake facing away from the CPU cooler makes airflow design more challenging in a SFF system. It's a shame BTX never caught on - it went some ways to addressing these issues.

GPU intake is from below (in normal ATX), so it *is* facing away from CPU HSF.

Quote:
Fan size is something of a challenge, because a large rear fan, in particular, increases the required size significantly.

What case width is required for Asus Strix support? What value does an exhaust fan really add if you do have 2x 140mm or even 2x 180mm intakes and maybe 1x or 2x 120mm on CPU HSF?

Quote:
With a passive PSU,

Are passive PSUs worth it if you have lots of other fans anyway? Are they worth it if you don't?
Quote:
All this leads to a design for a case that isn't particularly compact, however. I wouldn't expect this to come in much under 30L, and that's without any 5.25" bays, and maybe room for two 3.5" HDDs. On paper it doesn't necessarily compare well with other 30L cases (e.g., the TJ-08E).

What depth is required to support a big stock GPU (like Asus Strix)?

Perhaps it's more interesting to focus on compact non-gaming builds. mATX/mITX board, ATX PSU, low depth (< 30cm) and low width (< 18cm).


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 Post subject: Re: Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:07 pm 
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Posts: 11
MikeC wrote:
Re - GPU at the top concept: Check out our comments in the TJ-08E review
Quote:
SilverStone essentially made a tradeoff, opting for a cooler CPU near the case floor and a warmer GPU in the upper section of the case. Gamers with high-end video cards would actually benefit if they turned it back the "right" way.
Would it actually be a benefit for GPU cooling though? The TJ08-E has no vents on the bottom, so I don't see how the orientation makes a difference. Unless you're implying the "heat rises" argument? My understanding is that convection currents within a case are essentially irrelevant once you have a couple of case fans going; any natural current will be totally overpowered by even modest amounts of forced airflow.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
NCASEdesign wrote:
Simply having the GPU intake facing away from the CPU cooler makes airflow design more challenging in a SFF system. It's a shame BTX never caught on - it went some ways to addressing these issues.

GPU intake is from below (in normal ATX), so it *is* facing away from CPU HSF.
Right. But I'm saying it's potentially beneficial to have the GPU intake facing towards the CPU, as it was with BTX. Beneficial for space efficient designs at least.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
What case width is required for Asus Strix support?
Probably 170mm. At that point CPU cooler height is limited though (to 140-145mm), and a rear 120mm fan isn't an option.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Are passive PSUs worth it if you have lots of other fans anyway? Are they worth it if you don't?
Probably not, really. Semi-passive is good enough IMO.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
What depth is required to support a big stock GPU (like Asus Strix)?
Depends how the case is designed and if you want to be able to have fans in front of the GPU. Installation can become difficult with longs cards if there's too little extra room in the case - I addressed this in the design of the M1 by having a cutout in the front of the chassis which allows you to sort of "parallel park" the GPU during installation. The longest Strix models are ~288mm, but I'd go with support for 12" (305mm) cards.

Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Perhaps it's more interesting to focus on compact non-gaming builds. mATX/mITX board, ATX PSU, low depth (< 30cm) and low width (< 18cm).
Less viable as a low-volume premium product though, unfortunately.


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